Despite the long-term decline in the number of death sentences and the lack of executions, the cost of the death penalty in North Carolina remains high. To document this cost, the empirical analysis here focuses on a recent two-year period, comparing actual costs associated with capital proceedings, with likely costs in the absence of the death penalty. The conclusion: the state would have spent almost $11 million less each year on criminal justice activities (including appeals and imprisonment) if the death penalty had been abolished. Additional criminal justice resources would have been freed up and available to be redirected to other cases. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.
American Law and Economics Review is edited by Hon. Richard A. Posner
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